Producers for the new £1bn Lord of the Rings TV show are reported to have been undercover at Balloch Castle Country Park, scouting out locations for filming. 

Staff working for streaming giant Amazon, who will finance the show, also visited Skye, Perthshire and Loch Lomond.

According to reports in the Sunday Mail, the producers posed as tourists to speak to local communities and see the landscape for themselves.

They also visited Portree on the Isle of Skye, Dunskey Castle and Portpatrick in the south-west and Scourie in the north-west.

The locations could feature in the new prequel to the classic trilogy, which has the biggest budget ever for a TV series. 

Amazon paid £200m for the rights to use the Lord of the Rings brand and will spend £1bn on the series, which is expected to air by 2021.

An insider told the Sunday Mail: “When Amazon people scouted locations, they didn’t make themselves known, acted as tourists and connected straight away with local communities.”